There are lots of things we think we need to do whilst nurturing a small person(s). Here’s a list of things you definitely do not need to do.
- Feel guilty about anything. So what if you’ve been in your PJs for two days straight. So what if your older child is watching Netflix all day. So what if no one’s eaten anything more nutritious than a handful of raisins they found on the floor. The first six months are about SURVIVAL. Your survival and theirs. Do whatever you need to do to get through the day. Because when you have a small baby in tow, getting through the day is totally enough.
- Function. In any way, shape or form. You do not need to fire on all cylinders. You have nothing to prove. To yourself or the outside world. A little fresh air each day and the sofa; they’re your best friends right now.
- Organise stuff. When you’re sitting around the house all day, stuff preoccupies you. The chipped paint. The mess that occupies every dusty corner. The piles of junk you can’t find a moment to sort. Forget it. Now is NOT the time to get busy.
- Do chores. No one cares how messy your house is or that you haven’t bleached your toilet for a week. YOU HAVE A SMALL BABY. The rest of the world can see this but when you’re in a sleep-deprived fog, it’s hard for you to see it yourself. You feel that it’s a sign you’re not coping. That you’re not capable. It’s not important. You and your baby. That’s what we care about.
- Justify yourself. You are the most important person in the world right now. And anyone who doesn’t get that by putting unfair expectations on you or pushing their own agendas can do one. You do what works for you and your family and you don’t justify yourself to anyone. Got it?
- Question yourself. None of us know what we’re doing with a new baby. Don’t worry about routines or feeding patterns or why your baby suddenly wants to eat ALL of the time. Just go with it. You’ll find it much more enjoyable if you’re not driving yourself mad with questions that are mostly impossible to answer.
- Diet. I really hope this one is obvious but in case you’re thinking about losing weight, don’t. When you’ve had two hours sleep, cake is all you’ve got. Don’t make yourself miserable going without the things you fancy. You’ve just done nine months of that, right?
- Go it alone. Being a new mum can be lonely, no matter what round you’re on. We haven’t forgotten you but if we haven’t checked in recently and you’re suddenly feeling overwhelmed, lonely or in need of some support, please ask. We’ll be there in a heartbeat to help you through. We know what it’s like and we’re right behind you. Keep going, you’re doing brilliantly.
Amy Ransom is a mum of three and author of the Notebooks For Mum series, including bestseller, The New Mum’s Notebook, a reassuring companion to the first year of motherhood and the newly released organiser for the first year at primary school, The School Mum’s Notebook. All available from notebooksformums.co.uk. You can follow her over on Instagram @amyransomwrites and @notebooksformums and Facebook @amyransomwrites.